July 17, 2017
Eleven-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater posted a cringe-worthy photo of his broken foot on social media, saying he’ll likely need surgery that will require him to take some time off.
“You ever folded your entire foot backwards?” the Florida surfer wrote on Instagram. “If you try it sometime, this is what it might look like. I pulled into a barrel this morning and the whitewash bounced the board back into my foot as I hit the closeout, taking all the pressure into the metatarsals. Kinda like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can. Sorta feels like I’m giving birth out of my foot right now!”
He wrote that he’ll likely need surgery and a six-week holiday.
“Not looking forward to 30 hour flight home before surgery though. Ouch! It sucks but so many people deal with such horrible things around this world everyday that a broken foot is pretty minor in the scheme of things. Sometimes a bad thing is a good thing. I’ll make the best of my time off.”
What does that time off mean for Orange County surf fans? There’s always hope Slater will make a surprise appearance at the U.S. Open of Surfing, coming up on July 29 in Huntington Beach – though he’s been a no-show since 2013.
But it’s also uncertain if he’ll be healed enough to compete at the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles, where he’s won many times and is a fan favorite. When Slater is in the water at the cobble-stone beach, the crowd fills in considerably so surf fans can get a glimpse of him in action.
According to the World Surf League, Slater injured himself while freesurfing near Jeffreys Bay.
“He needed assistance making his way off site, and was taken to the hospital, where he was X-rayed (and posted the painful-looking results). The injury derails his promising start at the Corona Open J-Bay, where he had made it past Julian Wilson and Kanoa Igarashi in Round One, for a direct jump to Round Three,” the WSL article reads.
Slater, after injuring himself. WSL / STEVE SHERMAN
“With an ice pack on his foot and looking visibly dejected, he mused that the injury would not only take him out the J-Bay event, but also the Billabong Pro Tahiti next month — but nothing has yet been confirmed. It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the 11-time World Champ, who told the WSL last October that he was making a serious run for a twelfth Title this year.”
According to the WSL, Slater is currently sitting at number 18 in the world championship ratings, and “he would have needed a few incredible results to come close to achieving that goal.”
But never count out Slater, who has made a career out of surprising surf fans with the unthinkable.